Thursday, December 20, 2012

Global Village, Dubai–and the Nobel Prize for Malala

Need shoes  and headdress
to complete the outfit.

Mark and I recently went to Global Village in Dubai. Global Village is a carnival-type market that is set up for a few months each year. There’s a Fun Fair section with rides including a huge Ferris Wheel – which, come to think of it, is perhaps the only American contribution. I wonder how many people know that the first Ferris Wheel was built in Carson City, just 15 miles from our house in Nevada? But I digress.

For us, what’s interesting about Global Village are the tents. Each tent represents a country, and sells goods made there. Over 25 countries are represented, coming from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe.There is also a large stage with plenty of standing room in front, where troupes put on dance performances. As soon as a performance starts, hundreds of people are drawn to watch.

Maq Crk Sharj Dubai Glob Vill 065
This woman was having a great time.

The first thing that Mark and I did while we were there was to taste a traditional Arab pancake. An Emirati gentleman standing next to me helped us out with interpretation so that we could order, because the women doing the cooking did not understand any English, nor even, really, our gestures. She was very gracious, however, when I asked if I could photograph her. I could see her smiling behind her Bedouin mask.

Maq Crk Sharj Dubai Glob Vill 088
I will not leave the Middle East for good without
a large stack of textiles.

We went into several tents: India, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Morocco, and Syria. The tents were packed with vendors selling clothing, textiles, handbags, foodstuffs, carvings, beads, trinkets, you name it. They all want you to come and look. And, because you are their first customer, you get a special deal!


I admit it, I came there to buy. And in the Afghanistan tent, I found what I have been looking for since I arrived in the Middle East: a traditional Arab dress for my granddaughter, Kailyn. The gold sparkles and delicate pleating were beautiful, but what sold me was the trim on the sleeves, bodice and hem – it reminded me of peacock feathers. The price, at 80 AED ($22.78) was less than I thought it would be so I didn't try to bargain him down.

The little girls wear these lovely outfits on religious and other holidays. Because Kailyn’s dress is from Afghanistan, it made me think of Malala. She is, in case you don't know, the young girl, soon to be a young woman, who was shot by the Taliban because she dared to criticize them for shutting down the girls’ schools in Afghanistan. Malala survived, hamdallah (thanks be to God), and she is recovering in a hospital in England. The Taliban has vowed to kill her and her father, who is also an activist. 

My granddaughter is lucky because she gets to go to school, she loves it, and she is thriving. But still, in this amazingly connected world we live in, there are children who do not have the opportunity to go to school.


Malala is their champion. She has raised awareness, shining the light on the fact that, yes, children WANT to go to school. They are born wanting to learn, and we must give them that opportunity. All children, throughout the world. Only when all people are educated, and can read, and write, and reason, can we hope to achieve a more peaceful Global Village.

There’s a worldwide movement to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. So far as I know at this writing, she has been nominated by British Member of Parliament Jim Fitzpatrick and Federal Party leaders in Canada. In my opinion, Malala is worthy of the Nobel prize not just for what she has done, but for what I believe she can still accomplish in the future. She is so young and she has already done so much. We need her. We need for her to keep working. People like Malala are much too few and far between. We need to honor and support her.

Please watch this video of a song written about Malala by an American girl in Lafayette, California. SamanthaAnne is inspired by Malala and made the video to encourage people to nominate her for the Nobel prize. It’s a beautiful song, and the video is beautifully produced.

Then, if you believe Malala deserves to win the Nobel Prize, please sign the petition.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Hi Anne, This is great about the Global Village! I wish I could come to this. Your pictures are so colorful and enticing!! I also love this song about Malala and what you write about her.

It was so nice to meet you and Mark last night! I figured out how to sign up for your blog. Look forward to perusing more! ~ Cathy